Episode 304 - eeeeeevil!

Jan 2, 2017

What defines evil in fiction? I say the simplest one is bad guys are selfish, good guys are selfless. That is massively over simplistic but it's a good easy template for basic hero's and villains. Basic ones I was just doing a quick thought experiment to work out an easy way to define “good” and “evil” characters in fiction. The more selfless someone is the more “good” they are: the more they think of others, want to help people, put the needs of the masses first, the more willing they are to reach across to their enemies etc. The more selfish a person is the more “evil” they are: if they don't consider the needs or feelings of others, help out their own small group and let others suffer, help themselves first. Of course there are many other more advanced aspects, especially if you consider the relative nature of these things: the idea that everyone thinks they're the good guy from their own perspective, being cruel to be kind, being too authoritarian and heavy handed in the use of power, NOT using power when you should, helping in a way that only SEEMS destructive and selfish, trying to help but causing destruction and chaos in the process, which brings us to the dreaded “unintended consequences”. BUT, the selfless/selfish equation is a nice simple starting point to build from. In the Quackcast we discuss these aspects as well as more advanced notions about what makes a good evil character, what makes a bad one, humanising evil, and weakening you evil character by humanising them too much. Gunwallace's musical theme was for The Cull: Dark, haunting, and compelling- Eastern European Jewish, country and rock, reminds me of Tracy Bonham’s later work.

Topics and Show Notes

Featured comic:
RIGHTEOUS - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2016/dec/27/featured-comic-righteous/

Topics
Adventure time - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1305826/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Chronicle (hero back stories) - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1706593/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Pitface - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
kawaiidaigakusei - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

Featured music:
The Cull - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Cull/ by Singring, rated M.
This is a brutal story about violence, tribalism, and redemption… I think :)

Episode 299 - Self Insertion of Characters

Nov 28, 2016

5 likes, 6 comments

In Quackcast 299 we expand on an idea from Tantz's Saturday newspost about inserting your personality into your characters when you write them. But not only that, we chat about how a work of fiction by a writer can be like a darkly faceted diamond with many aspects of themselves reflected in all their individual characters. And then we go even further and talk about how we insert ourselves into characters that we read about or see on the screen. What characters do you see yourself as in your favourite works? Gunwallace' music this week was the theme to Girlsquadx! It's a fun, techno, bouncing, pop action tune!

Episode 298 - When death comes

Nov 21, 2016

4 likes, 2 comments

This Quackcast was based on Tantz Aerine's newspost from two Saturday's ago: Death in comics. We lightly expand t to death in all pop culture in the Quackcast. It's an interesting topic! Not the one we were originally going to do though… We were supposed to all have pizza and interview VinoMas's Princess January, but no one got pizza except me and I gave Vino the wrong time so he didn't show up, hahaha! So that idea… died. Death in comics can be used a whole lot of ways; a promotional technique as in Superman, a way to get rid of superfluous characters, to show gore and a massive body count, to create tragedy and pathos, the create comedy and laughter, and more! We give examples from our own artwork as well as mainstream comics like Maus, Judge Dredd, Superman, When the Wind Blows, nd even great webcomics like Charby the Vampirate. Banes could not show for this Quackcast. He is NOT dead… not yet. Gunwallace is right there back in action and the theme he's given us this week is Ectopiary! It's darkly threatening and vaguely classical, a creeping, scary exploration of dark places.

Episode 295 - Sexcast, sex in non adult comics

Oct 10, 2016

5 likes, 0 comments

This is the Awkardcast! Another take on the sexcast idea but this time we're looking at sex and sexual situations in strictly NON-adult comics. Sex performs a very different role in non-adult comics… You have a much wider audience with comics at the rating, but there are things you can not show, so of course you use sex for other reasons than the way you do in an adult rated comic. In an adult comic you can show all details of the entire act, all the genitalia in all their glistening, gory, gooey, hairy splendour, going in and out and around here and there and all over the place! Oh my! In Mature comics and bellow though, you simply can't, though you CAN have some non-sexual full frontal nudity in Mature comics and you can show bottoms in Teen rated comics. The ratings are similar to what you have with film ratings. In adult comics, like adult film, sex acts are more of the focus, they can still have a story but the sex acts are supposed to be enjoyed in their own right. In non-adult comics the sex has other purposes- subtle titillation is a part of it, comedy, teasing the viewer, furthering the plot, a culmination of a relationship or the establishment of one, etc- there's generally always another purpose to it, unlike adult comics where there sometimes is but doesn't need to be. And unlike adult film there's not much purpose to softcore non-adult rated porn in comics. That type of censored porn is done in film in order to get a wider audience on media that will otherwise not show porn, but on the net porn it's super easy to come by so there's not much reason to do softcore. There are a lot of challenges entailed in depicting non-adult rated porn! Certain positions don't work in well with the limits on nudity (we talk about this in the cast), but there are tricks you can use; symbolism (popping champagne corks, trains going into tunnels etc), strategic positioning of sheets, clever camera angles, fading out before the act and fading in again after, characters with mussed hair and uneven clothing, using dialogue to refer to what they just did, “off-screen” shenanigans, or shenanigans in the dark etc, it can be a lot of fun! Have a listen to how Tantz, I and Banes tackle the idea. The music by Gunwallace for his week was Firefly cross! A very mystical sound, with traditional, middle eastern style music mixed with dark techno fuzz, this one is intriguing!

Episode 291 - The philosophy and politics of comics

Oct 3, 2016

5 likes, 3 comments

This week's Quackcast is brought to us by Tantz Ariene! Tantz is a very political creature, seeing as she comes from Athens which is pretty much the birthplace of politics AND philosophy, that's hardly surprising. Clever Tantz in her tantzglasses, dudeman Banes, and me,Ozoneocean all talk about this interesting subject: what are the politics and philosophy involved in YOUR webcomic? Even though we don't realise it, there's ALWAYS politics of some sort in a comic, as well as philosophy. If your writing is pretty clever you might have multiple political view points in your comic and a whole range of different philosophies! Consider something as basic as Peanuts. Those characters have all sorts of political viewpoints! Peppermint Pattie is very forthright in her feminist views, but she's also pretty left wing, Lucy is rather domineering and and right off centre in the way she thinks, Charlie Brown is a bit of a fatalist blank slate for the audience to project themselves onto, Linus is a quiet intellectual… etc, I don't know, it's been years since I've read Peanuts! Gimmee a break! In superhero comics it's the same; most of them are pretty right wing, libertarian, individualist sorts of characters- Batman for example, Iron man, etc. There's a good argument for Superman being somewhat more Socialist since he's an ordinary man with an ordinary job most of the time and works out in the open for the good of all humanity, while Batman is a super rich guy most of the time and when he's doing hero stuff it's usually smaller scale vigilante type stuff against people who threaten his city, or commerce in his city like thieves and the Mafia. Try it yourself! Examining the politics and philosophy of your OWN characters as well as classic ones is pretty interesting. Gunwallace's theme this week is for Krasnosvit, a subtle, careful, fairytale theme, inducing you into the dark forest strangeness of Krasnosvit.

Episode 290 - Characters coming alive

Sep 26, 2016

3 likes, 1 comment

The idea fr this Quackcast was inspired by a Korean TV series that Tantz Aerine recommended called “W” (http://myasiantv.se/drama/w/). The show is about a manga artist who does a super popular webcomic. He wants to quit doing it and has decided to end by killing off his main character, but his main character seems to have ideas of his own about that… Tantz and I thought about how that could apply to us real webcomicers. That's a fantasy situation, but if it could happen, which of your characters would do that? Which one is independent enough from you that they would want to take on a life of their own and fight you? Incorporated in this are the idea of characters “breaking the fourth wall” and the fictional characters becoming so well realised and independent from the author (so to speak), that they seem to influence the direction of a story against the intentions off the writer. People will often talk about characters seemingly writing the story themselves or taking things in directions the writer never wanted to go. So that's what we chat about! You really should check out “W”, it's a great series! This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to HardLuckComics. It's full of energy and vive, driving. This is working music! This is the intro to the drive time program on the radio! This is “the news”!

Episode 287 - Evoking emotion

Sep 5, 2016

4 likes, 1 comment

Evoking emotion in your readers/having emotion evoked from comics: How do you do it? what are some mistakes/ineffective methods? As a comic creator you use a whole bunch of different ways to evoke emotion than say a novelist or a film-maker- you don't have the text space of a novelist and you don't have the control, soundtrack and all the tools of a film maker. Comic creators have a different set of arrows in their quiver and in this Quackcast we try and talk about those. What do YOU use to evoke emotion from your characters and readers? Gunwallace's theme this week is for The Desperately Departed. It's atmospheric, heavy, threatening, revealing. Reminds me of the heat shimmer on a wide desert landscape vista.

Episode 285 - Ride the wave of the Anti-heroes

Aug 22, 2016

3 likes, 5 comments

Comedy anti-heroes are a great deal of fun. My faves are characters like Tankgirl and Flashman; they can be selfish, greedy, violent, lustful, out for their own needs first but they still manage to do the “right” thing and vanquish the bad guy along the way regardless, or a character like George Costanza from Seinfeld who's jealous, pathetic, cowardly and greedy but we still love him anyway because identify with him and root for him against the unloving forces of the universe. To be a GOOD comedy anti-hero you have to keep the audience on their side though and that can be a tricky balancing act, you have to surf a number of factors (especially in a long running project), since to actually BE an anti-hero they need to have things about them that an audience would normally despise, these need to be counteracted by things like sympathy and pathos, traits we strongly identify with, intelligence, luck, charm, humour, sexiness, coolness, allowing them to win sometimes, or even redeeming some of their anti-hero behaviours occasionally. Get that balance wrong and they can so easily completely lose audience favour and sour the rest of the story/show/film. Pitface, Tantz, and Banes weigh in on this with me. And there are more opinions in the forum thread from which this evolved. Gunwallace's musical theme this week was for Pestilent. It's thoughtful, haunting, reminds me a little of a classic horror film soundtrack. Pretty scary!


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